Saturday, May 27, 2006
Shaw Hill was Outstanding in his Debut Today!!
Unfortunately Damian Jackson really SUCKED today!! Cost us the game on 3 different occasions. It was a good old fashion pitchers duel. Derek Lowe had his sinker going big time and Shawn Hill looked very solid. Beautiful Delivery and motion. Very calm and cool. Can even BUNT!! Gave up only 1 run on a HBP on their Catcher Martin, with no outs. The Dodgers moved him around with small ball, bunt by Lowe. single by Furcal, BUT The 3rd base coach for LA held Martin because HE WAS AFRAID OF SORIANO'S ARM. TWICE THIS HAPPENED DURING THE GAME. RESPECT!! Then Lofton hit a sacrifice too deep for Soriano to throw him out. Hill doesn't hit 90 too often, but he mixed it up really well, when he got into trouble, handled it very well. Got out of it for 7 innings. Lowe was terrific, the Nats couldn't hit a ball out of the infield for 7 innings until the crucial 7th. Nick Johnson, getting his stroke back, going 3 for 4, hit an infield single up the middle that Robles stopped but could make no play, Zimmerman, on a hit and run slaps one to right through the hole, moving Nick to 3rd with no outs and things looked great. Got even better with Marlon Anderson, FINALLY hitting in the clutch. slaps one to center scoring Johnson and the RFK faithful (nearly 28,000) were on their feet. With no outs. Damian Jackson squares to bunt and in typical Nats style, pops it up to Martin, the LA Catcher. I was steaming. With Schneider at the plate, with 1 out, Both Zimm and Anderson take off. The only problem was that Lowe had yet to start his motion. He just turned around, threw to second, Zimm out, killing the rally. Scheinder then slaps one right back to Lowe, INNING OVER!! Mrs Frank Robinson and Daughter sitting in my row but to the left across the walkway, both look at me and just shake their heads in disgust. I nodded my agreement. They laughed. Stanton comes in for the 8th. Gives up single to Furcal, single to Lofton on terrific bunt that Schneider had no play. Majewski comes in and Nomar first pitch drills it to left, scoring Furcal. Majewski then gets out of it when Aybar hits one of the middle off Gary's glove right to Clayton for a double play. 2-1, we still have a chance. In the bottom half of the 8th Danny Baez replaces Lowe. Byrd swings at the VERY FIRST PITCH (WHAT AN IDIOT!!) and pops to the catcher. It was INFURIATING! NO PATIENCE!! Soriano grounds a slow roller in the hole to short, Alfronso hustles all the way and beats it out. Ward PH's for Clayton and singles a soft liner to right, but Soriano, running on the play, has to hold up, not knowing if Cruz in RF will catch it. Things looked promising. Vidro the man you want at the plate, contact hitter--PROMPTLY HITS INTO A 4-6-3 DOUBLE PLAY TO END THE INNING. What is wrong with our team. Whenever a good hitter is in a clutch situation, they hit into a DP. The count was 1-1. What are they looking at, to swing at this crap!! In the 9th, Majewski stays in the game, but the Nats make a defensive switch that is the final stab in the back for this game. Mike Vento, just called up for AAA to replace Guillen on the DL moves to RF. Byrd moves to CF and Daman Jackson moves to SS. Andre Ethier (possibly the finest young hitter in the game) single to CF. Cruz Jr bunts him to second. Dodgers Catcher Martin grounds out to Vidro, moving Ethier to 3rd. With an 0-2 on PH Olmedo Saenz for Baez, a hitter that could possibly only beat out Matt LeCroy in a foot race, hits one into the hole, Jackson makes the play, has plenty of time, but hurries the throw as if Furcal is running and throws it short and to the right of Nick Johnson, its goes into the camera well for a 3-1 Dodgers lead! All's he had to do was plant himself and the inning would be over. Jackson is a HORRIBLE player. HORRIBLE!
The final disgrace came in the bottom of the 9th when Nick Johnson doubles down the left field line on the Japanese Import Saito (A quality reliever--really sharp). Zimm swings AGAIN AT THE FIRST PITCH and grounds to Aybar at 3rd for an easy 5-3. Robert Fick PH's for Majewski and K's with some terrible swings. Bringing DAMIAN JACKSON TO THE PLATE AND HE PROMPTLY STRIKES OUT ON 3 PITCHES FROM SAITO!! I looked over to Mrs. R and she just nodded to me in disgust!!
Good points. Hill was OUTSTANDING. Deserving of another shot. We need a CF. Jackson is not the answer at CF or backup short. We must lead the league in hitting into double plays with the game on the line. Its UNBELIEVABLE how often we do it. Love Zimmerman, but he needs to work on ground ball right at him. He blew another today that eventually lead to a run. But we can win the series tomorrow and go 7-3 on this homestand. Unfortunately Ortiz is pitching. Zach Day has now been moved to the 60 Day DL. You can bet he is gone for the season.